The course explores visionary and practical concepts of city design and planning, past and present, and how design can address such looming challenges as urban population growth, climate change and rising sea levels. Participants will be encouraged to make proposals for city design and development, starting with their own immediate environment.
Designing Cities is a ten-week course starting in September 2014. Every week will focus on a different aspect of Designing Cities including: How Today’s City Evolved; The Ideas That Shape Cities; Tools for Designing Cities; Making Cities Sustainable; Cities in the Information Age; Preserving Older Cities; Designing New Cities, Districts and Neighborhoods; The Challenges of Informal Cities and Disadvantaged Neighborhoods; and Visionary Cities. Materials will be presented by the instructors and guest faculty from PennDesign through a series of five or more modules per week, each typically 10-12 minutes long.
The first module each week will be a roundtable discussion among professors Stefan Al, Jonathan Barnett, and Gary Hack introducing the big issues associated with the subject. Each succeeding module will be a self-contained illustrated presentation of a set of ideas and images. There will be a list of suggested readings for those who wish to follow up on the ideas in each module.
Everyone enrolled in Designing Cities will be expected to complete 3 assignments. These will be posted on the course site and they will be in the form of peer assessments. There will also be three sessions where we discuss a selection of the assignments that have been submitted. There will be a great deal to be learned from the ideas participants submit, reflecting cities of all sizes and circumstances across the globe.The course concludes with a discussion by the faculty of the issues raised in the discussion groups and responses to the assignments. We are looking forward to connecting with you and seeing the issues at the forefront in designing your city.
This is a ten-week course which requires completion of three
assignments. The instructors will select some of the assignments submitted and
discuss them as part of the course.
Each week’s modules will be introduced by a discussion by all three instructors.
Week 1: How Today’s City Evolved
Week 2: Ideas That Shape Cities
Week 3: Tools for Designing Cities
Week 4: Making Cities Sustainable
Week 6: Preserving Older Cities
Week 7: Designing New Cities, Districts and Neighborhoods
Week 8: The Challenges of Informal Cities and Disadvantaged Neighborhoods
Week 9: Visionary Cities
Week 10: Concluding Comments
The design and development of cities, towns and suburbs affects everyone. We want to open up consideration of the basic concepts of city design and planning for informed discussion among people of any background, who will be encouraged to use information from the course to make their own observations and comments about city design and development, starting with their own immediate environment. We especially welcome planning, landscape architecture, and architecture students and professionals, those contemplating a career in these areas, and public officials who have responsibility over city development, although a professional discipline or public office is not a prerequisite. We will make our presentations using the latest technical information and examples, but they should be understandable even if you have no previous background in our subjects.
The basic components of the course are: content modules, as shown in the syllabus; three assignments, required for those who wish to receive a statement of accomplishment, and encouraged for all; participation in peer critiques of assignments; suggested readings that go beyond the materials in the modules.
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